Is 'Fifty Shades' to blame for rise in handcuff emergencies?
July 30, 2013 -- Updated 2145 GMT (0545 HKT)
- "Fifty Shades" could be behind rise in emergencies involving handcuffs, London firefighters say
- The city's firefighters have been called to 79 handcuff incidents in the past three years
- A U.S. congressman says prisoners in Guantanamo are also fans
London (CNN) -- The bestselling erotic novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" may have done more than spice up readers' love lives.
Firefighters in London say it could be to blame for a rise in the emergency calls from people stuck in all kinds of awkward situations -- some involving handcuffs.
Read more: Explaining 'Fifty Shades' wild success
The wildly-popular trilogy details the S&M-flavored love story of a recent college grad and a billionaire CEO. It's also credited with boosting sales of sex toys, driving women to hook-up sites and fueling a craze over sexual domination.
So, it's not surprising there would be a downside.
In the past three years, London's fire crews have been called to 79 incidents involving people trapped in handcuffs.
'Fifty Shades of Grey' becomes musical
'Mr. Fifty Shades' talks of wife, family
'Mommy porn' pulled from library shelves
"I don't know whether it's the Fifty Shades effect, but the number of incidents involving items like handcuffs seems to have gone up," said Third Officer Dave Brown.
"I'm sure most people will be Fifty Shades of red by the time our crews arrive to free them."
Such red-faced moments are among more than 1,300 calls involving people being trapped "often in everyday household items" since 2010, the fire service said.
Such calls are not just awkward; they end up costing the taxpayer. London Fire Brigade puts the cost of these 1,300 calls at £377,000 ($580,000.)
But it's not just London where E L James' erotic fiction has been making an impact.
Virginia Representative Jim Moran said the trilogy is a hit in a camp housing high-value detainees within the Guantanamo Bay prison complex.
"Rather than the Quran, the book that is requested most by the (high-value detainees) is Fifty Shades of Grey. They've read the entire series in English, but we were willing to translate it," he said in an interview with The Huffington Post.
The insight into the prisoners' reading habits was provided by military officials showing a congressional delegation around Camp Seven, the Democrat said.
"I guess there's not much going on, these guys are going nowhere, so what the hell," he is quoted as saying.
The trilogy has sold more than 32 million copies in the United States alone since the first installment was published in 2011. With a film version due for release next year, London's firefighters may have to respond to many more calls.
So, the fire brigade has a word of advice to offer: Use a little common sense.
And if you try handcuffs, always keep the keys handy.
Part of complete coverage on
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 0204 GMT (1004 HKT)
Obama's remarks that he didn't yet have a strategy for ISIS in Syria is widely criticized.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 0017 GMT (0817 HKT)
A few miles south of the town of Starobeshevo in eastern Ukraine, a group of men in uniform is slumped under a tree.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 0413 GMT (1213 HKT)
Beijing says only candidates approved by a nominating committee can run for Hong Kong's chief executive, prompting criticism that it stifles democracy.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0823 GMT (1623 HKT)
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1652 GMT (0052 HKT)
CNN's Will Ripley travels to North Korea, visiting an international wrestling festival and a slide-filled water park.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0920 GMT (1720 HKT)
Our whole solar system appears to be inside a searing gas bubble, scientists say.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0023 GMT (0823 HKT)
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0002 GMT (0802 HKT)
One journalist murdered, another still being held by ISIS -- a ransom negotiator talks to CNN about trying to get a hostage home alive.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
Artist Hendrik Gericke puts a spotlight on iconic performers from South Africa in these incredible monochrome illustrations.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0946 GMT (1746 HKT)
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
Today's five most popular stories